In his address, Lord Williams said: ''Religion has always been a matter of community building, a matter of building relations of compassion, fellow-feeling and, dare I say it, inclusion. ''The notion that religious commitment can be purely a private matter is one that runs against the grain of religious history.''
News in Activities
The Catholic school system in the United Kingdom is one of the success stories of which the various Catholic communities of these islands can feel rightly proud. Usually such schools are in demand, sometimes oversubscribed; frequently their success outshines that of other schools in the neighbourhood.
The Friends of All Saints Church in Maerdy had tried to save it from closure, but failed. A village where parishioners fought to save their church is one of the least religious places in Wales and England, the 2011 Census shows. Residents of Maerdy, Rhondda, staged a sit-in at All Saints Church after it was threatened with closure, before it eventually shut its doors last July.
More than 900 sixth form students from schools across the North-East are attending the two-day conference at Carmel RC College, in Darlington, hosted by world-renowned philosopher and theologian, Dr Peter Vardy, and his wife, Charlotte.
The Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales is sending out a million postcards calling on MPs to oppose the Government’s redefinition of marriage. The postcards will be sent to parishes next week. Each card will have a space for people to sign their name so they can post it to their MP.
Having already given away $28bn, Bill Gates intends to eradicate polio, with the same drive he brought to Microsoft . He speaks to Neil Tweedie. Later this month, Gates will deliver the BBC’s Dimbleby Lecture, taking as his theme the value of the young human being Photo: Andrew Crowley for the Telegraph.
Thousands converge on Eiffel Tower to protest against François Hollande's plan to legalise gay marriage and adoption. Demonstrators take part in a protest against gay marriage in Paris that was strongly backed the Catholic church.
Representation in Venice is as important for nations as for artists. A pavilion at the Biennale is a sign that a state, no matter how troubled or politically backward, has joined the Western cultural consensus. It’s six years since the first whispers of a plan for a Vatican pavilion at the fifty-fourth Biennale followed the appointment in 2009 of the art-loving Gianfranco Ravasi as President of the Pontifical Council for Culture.
Be bearers of the message of Christian unity. Pope addresses 45,000 young members of the ecumenical Taizé community. Dear young friends, Christ does not remove you from the world. He sends you there where His light is missing, so that you may bring it to others. Yes, you are all called to be small lights to those around you.
I spent the last three days of the year helping on a retreat for young people in south London. On New Year's Eve we had a discussion session, and I put this question to them: If you knew the world was going to end in exactly one hour, what would you do with the time?
Nothing captures that better than his own words: “Canterbury is much more than a functional building. It is an effort to make sense of the cosmos and reach out to its maker. Whether or not you want to talk about God, you can’t help but stand back and admire what humans can achieve in pursuit of transcendence.”
The Christmas story is surely one of the greatest stories ever told. It chronicles a birth from which the world records time as before or after. Moreover, it is written in a way that has inflamed the romantic imagination for 2000 years. This hasn't always been for the good.
After 46 years on death row, DNA evidence could prove Iwao Hakamada's innocence. On Christmas Eve 28 years ago, the Catholic Church welcomed a new member in unusual circumstances. Iwao Hakamada, now 76, was in prison for a capital offense when he was baptized.
"Go and make disciples of all nations!" is the title of the Holy Father's Message for the twenty-eighth World Youth Day 2013, which will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in July 2013. Some excerpts from the English language version of the text are given here.
British society is missing out on a massive contribution the elderly could play because too many people are simply waiting for them to die, the Archbishop of Canterbury has warned. In his last speech in the House of Lords before he steps down, Dr Rowan Williams said too many older people being were being “tolerated” rather than “valued”.
The message read: "Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart." A spokesman said earlier the pontiff would "reach out to everyone" with accounts in eight languages.
Welcome to the world of Christmas adverts, where it's always snowing, the turkey's never overcooked, and the trees never shed their needles. Every year, some of Britain's biggest retailers turn TV commercial breaks into a winter wonderland. We all know it's a long way from reality, but it still looks like a nice place to visit - so just how far away is it?